National Vodka Day

I was reminded that it’s National Vodka Day this month and I was asked to write something for this occasion. While working on the Absolut account as Chief Creative Officer for TBWA, I was not really a vodka drinker until our branding efforts were deployed in a global campaign effort. It’s easy to assume you know enough about vodka. The spirit is fairly straight forward: colorless, lower in flavor (if not always quite flavorless), high-test and mixer-friendly. Except that’s like vodka 101. First, some history on Vodka. In the 1400s, the alcohol was referred to as grozalka, a derivative of the Polish word gorzec, meaning “to burn.” It is a more accurate representation than today’s term, vodka, which comes from the Slavic word for water, voda. For 25 years, Absolut vodka ran the same humorous campaign celebrating its distinctive bottle, becoming renowned for the consistency of its pitches to consumers. Very well art directed and distinctive for the Vodka category.

But the new campaign, “In an Absolut World” included commercials and video clips, as well as online ads (at, print ads, billboards and event marketing. Drinkers were invited to imbibe “in an Absolut World,” a fanciful, even surreal, place where common sense prevails and just desserts are always on the menu. Absolut Vodka, one of the most popular super-premium brands in the world, produced in Ahus, southern Sweden. But today, vodka brands are offering peanut butter and jelly vodka, a blueberry pancake spirit, and something that tastes like electricity — whatever that means — into market. If you’re thirsty for more exotic flavors, here are more flavors that exist: pickle, bacon, chili and even double chocolate. So raise your Moscow mule, Cosmo or even your infused jalapeno pepper vodka and toast to National Vodka Day!

John Meyer | Partner and Chief Creative Officer at knoodle